Taking the first step onto the stage

by Violet 12. April 2011 22:27

For those of you following along at home, I'm completing my six week session with Miss Indigo Blue's Academey of Burlesque here in Seattle this week with my graduation recital this Saturday at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm. But it's not just me, there are a 11 other ladies who are doing it right along with me. During an e-mail conversation this week, one performer expressed some doubts. She's doing the show and wants to continue to performer, assuming she can handle the show this weekend. I wrote the following reply to her and everyone else in the class. For many, if not all, of my class mates, this is their time doing this. And that's kind of scary, taking that first step onto the stage. I hope the e-mail helps.

I have no doubts that you, and everyone else here, will be awesome and amazing and sexy and funny and entertaining.

There is this thrill to performing for an audience that responds, that yells, that whoops and hollers, and loves you! It’s a high that will last for a while.

When I stepped out onto that stage for the first time at the Little Red Studio on July 9th, 2010, I had only just found that calm that washes over you as you step off the cliff with nothing but faith to carry you. Before that was the jitters that I get before every show coupled with utter fear and terror.

I had a load of self-doubt. I questioned myself about what I was about to get myself into. Was this wise? Who is going to applaud an overweight trans woman? What if I fall again? (I had fallen during tech rehearsal a week prior, spraining my bad ankle in the process casting doubt as to whether I’d be able to perform in the show at all.) My training at that point was a friend and teacher who is an amazing belly dancer with a background in stripping. I had pushed the direction of the classes more and more towards burlesque and I wondered if that was enough. Could I do this?

Once I was in the wings waiting for my music cue to enter—that tremolo that opens Jill Tracy’s Doomsday Serenade—and I was at the point of no return. My theater ethics wouldn’t let me back out now. No, the show must go on. Parasol in hand, I strutted onto the stage.

About four and half minutes later and several layers of clothing shed, the packed house erupted into applause! That was love; love from the audience and more importantly, there was love that felt burst forth from the well of my being. My fears and doubts were unwarranted. That was amazingly liberating and empowering for me. I tweeted from the backstage, “I have got to do this again!”

And I’ve done it again and again. I love my job and, as Scarlett said last night, I love my new normal.

And I am so very fortunate to have met and worked with you all.

You'll rock my world.

This trollop is tearing again, my lovelies, just like I did when I originally wrote it.

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